Studying after twenty years – where have the books gone

It is strange going back to study after twenty years. It’s not that I haven’t done courses to upskill myself, I have. the most recent was an advanced diploma in coaching but this is different this is a postgraduate this is where I need to pull on my big girl pants. This is where they give you assignments to do and you need a dictionary to understand what they are looking for. This is where you need to read – and by read I don’t mean my wonderful fiction books – I mean scholarly texts that I don’t understand. The lectures talk about reader centred writing but none of the research articles are reader centred. The more long words and sentences you use the better. And then there is the grammar – I’m sorry but I’ve never heard of the oxford comma, I barely even know how many tenses their are and as for when to use that or which – well I give up.

That is what makes it worth while because at the end of it my grammar and editing will be wonderful and I will be able to edit my own books, says with a chuckle.

So assignments are already due, the first one is due on Monday. It is to create a story blurb with ten points I want to put in my story. Ultimately this will be a full short story and will be the final assignement. So the creative juices are flowing and I am talking murder! Have got ahead of the game and submitted that early.

For one of my courses we have to submit a reflection on the lecture and it amazes me how creative some of the other students are, the use of graphics is wonderful and I wish I had their talent. It’s hard not to just use you rnotes as is even harder to keep it short even though there is no limit so to speak. The first one ran to two pages but it was spread out and had a couple of pictures. The second was half a page and I think it is worth a metnion if only because I got freaked out after I submitted it. We had two authors in conversation – one who planned and plotted, the other who flew by the seat of her pants ie plotter v pantser. I submitted my reflection and headed to facebook to see what was happening and the very first post was from someone having a mini rant about a podcast on plotters v pantsers. My computer is definitely watching me!

Next assignement due will be a book review. No I will admit that I have posted book reviews and I am aware of goodreads. I did it because I know some authors and I really liked their books so wanted to put them out there. I have never written a review about a book I didn’t like – I just wouldn’t do one because I recognise that books are the authors children and I don’t want to offend them. What I didn’t realise is that there is a proper methodolgy to book reviews which hopefully I have now embraced and can do real justice to the books I review. I am in process of doing a book review on a book called The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan. Dervla is a debut Irish novelest who livs in Perth. Will post more when the review is done!.

The next assignment is to do an interview with someone who writes as part of their work as opposed to someone whose writing is their work. Which practically means anyone who uses email in work. So I am doing an interview tomorrow with a lawyer who lives in Brisbane and whom I met a couple of years ago at a wedding in Spain! This will (I hope) become a feature article for another assessment.

I’m sure you are wondering why I mentioned books in the title. We had a session in the library the other night where a wonderful librarian called Angela gave use great information on how to research. The library has tons of computers but not a lot of books. Everything is digitalised now. You can still get physical copies of books but you have to wait for them. There is a technique to reseraching things which I have to admit I need to learn so have booked a one to one with Angela as I need it.

So am I holding my own? I think I am. I don’t know if I am the oldest in the class there are a couple of others who look about the same age but you know what it doesn’t matter. I have met up with some wonderful younger people who are happy to include me in their study group and believe I have a valid point of view. It’s great and they can and have helped me with things I am less sure on like the oxford comma.


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